The worst thing that could have possibly occurred happened to the Brinkleys in the latest effort from Up All Night: Their television stopped working. Maybe that’s a slight embellishment, but it is seriously a downer. How were they supposed to watch the last-ever season premiere of 30 Rock?
“Swingers” opens with a short power outage that forces Chris and Reagan to eat dinner at their dining room table, where they are bored out of their minds, instead of in front of the television. They realize that maybe they’ve become those boring people they always dreaded becoming. Ava suggests that Reagan just make up a little blue notecard of questions and conversation topics like she used to for The Ava Show. It’s one of Ava’s best day-drunk ideas that she’s ever had. We also learn that Ava is sort of a hoarder. She wouldn’t get on the TLC show or anything, but she could very well be on her way to starring on it in a few years.
Chris and Reagan, already a truly cute TV couple, become more realistic and loveable this time around. It’s adorable to see Reagan so excited when Chris says they’re going to be adventurous and exciting and are going to try trapeze-ing. Seeing their chemistry work so well reminds me of why I liked the show so much. Sometimes it is hard to look past all of the little flaws that add up to see such a great couple drive a show and really make it work, but if you do, you’ll see this is a fun show with a lot of heart.
This episode got knocked up a few points thanks to a guest appearance from Rachel Dratch. Dratch plays Ava’s number-one fan, and she’s everything you expect from the actress. It’s a brief appearance, but she’s just so awkwardly loveable. What’s great is that they brought Dratch in not to drive the episode with a guest appearance, but because she propelled Ava and Scott into a very sincere plotline about “letting go and letting goddess”—whatever that means.
The re-tooling of the show was a little worrisome at first, but life throws curveballs and now I think I can let go and really start to enjoy Up All Night 2.0. “Swingers”—like on a trapeze, get it?—was a giant step in the right direction. The show needs to focus on smaller, everyday situations and forget about trying to be over-the-top like it reached for all last season.
Really, the Brinkleys’ television going on the fritz was the best thing to happen to the show yet.